The Kingdom of Heaven is At Hand!

“In those days, John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, ‘Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!’ Then Jerusalem, all Judea and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.” (Matthew 3:1,2,5,6)

“From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, ‘Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Now Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them; ‘follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Then they immediately left their nets and followed Him.” (Matthew 4:17-20)

The phrase “kingdom of heaven” is not found in the Old Testament, but the prophet Daniel spoke about a new kingdom which would be set up by God and would never be destroyed.(Daniel2:44) The prophet Isaiah spoke about a “great light” that would shine on the Gentiles. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.” (Isaiah 9:2)¬† It was indeed a great light that illuminated the hearts and the minds of the fishermen who “immediately” left their nets and followed Jesus. It was the Light of the World who announced that His followers would not walk in darkness but would have the light of life. (John 8:12)

“Again the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44) Jesus said we should seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. (Matthew 6:33) It was also the Son of God who said “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20) Jesus had much to say about the kingdom of heaven. He preached the gospel of the kingdom to all who would listen, and instructed His apostles to do the same. He spoke about the character of those¬† who would inherit the kingdom in His Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew chapter 5) He also issued a warning about those who would not inherit the kingdom; “Not everyone who says to Me. ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and Godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28,29)

Much like today, many of those who first heard the message of the kingdom failed to see the value or the urgency of it. If it was an urgent situation in that day, it only stands to reason that it is even more urgent for us now. “For He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”‘ (2 Corinthians 6:2)

“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'” (Matthew10:7}


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